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Cracks on both sides before municipal elections

September 23rd, 2014

A left-liberal webmagazine expects a real clash within the Fidesz camp after the municipal elections in October, while a pro-government commentator suggests that “a new era will begin” on both sides.

On 444, Péter Magyari believes that the opposing sides within Fidesz may not even manage to contain their feud in the run up to the municipal elections scheduled for October 12th.  He draws that conclusion from a series of photos published by Magyar Nemzet on Saturday on the inauguration of a show jumping circuit in Western Hungary. The pictures feature former Fidesz treasurer Lajos Simicska, who is widely believed to be the ultimate owner of most pro-Fidesz media outlets, including Magyar Nemzet itself, with the leading personalities of those TV and radio stations and the main pro-government newspaper, although Mr Simicska has conspicuously avoided publicity for the past 15 years. Magyari thinks the event was meant to show that he is not willing to be ditched and sticks to his “media empire” despite alleged pressure from the Prime Minister himself. (On the rumours about the feud between the two men see BudaPost, August 1).

Without any explicit reference to the widely discussed “Simicska affair”, Magyar Nemzet’s Szabolcs Szerető is certain that “a new era will begin in Hungarian politics on October 13, both on the Left and on the Right”. He enigmatically remarks that “we can only guess” what the changes will consist of, but “history will not come to an end”.  The bulk of his article, however, is about the deep divisions on the left-wing side, which, he believes, will find it hard even to keep its already modest positions on local councils. He sees no innovations in the leftist campaign, except for the candidacy of Albert Pásztor for the post of Miskolc Mayor which he defines as a first attempt by the MSZP to react to being overtaken by Jobbik in the most underdeveloped regions. (For accusations of anti-Roma rhetoric against Mr Pásztor, see BudaPost, July through August.)


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